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26 November 2009

Jean Fredericks (193? – 197?) singer, drag performer, ball organizer.

Jean sang counter tenor in his local church, and was cast as Juliet in a school play.

He studied singing and trombone at the University of Toronto, and was cast in a comic role in the All-Varsity Revue in a sketch based on Carmen. This led to a satirical concert with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

He played drag shows across North America, and in 1960 moved to England.

After a straight role in a West-End musical and at the Edinburgh Festival he concentrated on his drag act doing mock-opera. In 1964 he released an LP Recitals are a Drag. In 1965 he was featured in the first issue of London Life magazine.

In 1969 he and Ron Storme started to organize five or more drag balls a year in London, mainly at the Porchester Hall.

He had a small part in the Barry Humphries film, The Adventures of Barry McKenzie, 1972.

The Porchester Hall tradition was continued by Ron Storme after Jean’s death.

*Not the Hopi photographer.
  • Chris Shaw & Arthur Oates. A Pictorial History of the Art of Female Impersonation. London: King-Shaw Productions. 1966: 29.
  • “The Fabulous Mr Jean Fredericks”. Follow-Up: the monthly magazine for the gay scene. 1973.
  • J.D. Doyle. “Jean Fredericks”. Queer Music Heritage.

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